With attendance struggles continuing, the Gwinnett Braves (Class AAA; International League) are not ruling out the possibility of a name change.
It was noted here recently that the G-Braves are struggling to attract fans to Coolray Field. While the franchise’s shift from Richmond–which took place before the 2009 season–has eased player development operations for the Atlanta Braves, attendance for the G-Braves has not taken off. For the 2016 season, the team finished last in the 14-team International League in average and total attendance.
General manager North Johnson and his front office continue to try to strengthen the team’s numbers. One solution, according to Johnson, might wind up being a name change, something that was recently reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Such a transition would be notable in a few respects, mainly in that Atlanta Braves-owned franchises tend to follow the branding of their parent club. While it has not been uncommon for the Braves to put a unique spin on the logos of their affiliates, the name of the parent club tends to stick, and the G-Braves’ moniker dates back to the franchise’s inaugural season in Richmond in 1966.
In this particular case, one would imagine that rebranding is probably a few years away–likely not until at least 2018. Yet with the G-Braves looking at every possible route to boost attendance, a name change may be deemed appropriate, particularly since the major and minor league Braves are in such close proximity.